SILENT

She has flown again,

Without fluttering.”

A 6 word story prompt. The word Prompt is “Silent”. It can be followed here.

What matters more?

To participate or to be the witness
To see the change or be the change
To envision the spectrum or to let it be white

To let the clouds rain or to wait for thunder
To paint some shreds or to color the whole canvas
To devour all the fragrance or to inhale just what feels right

To accept the reality or meander among dreamy landscape

To know when to stop or to keep moving with panache

To be content with whatever you have or to hanker after what seems alluring

What matters more…

To be as you are

Or to emulate

A seemingly brighter star.

Whose Fault is it Anyway?

Often, as today it is, the mind stands in conflict with the heart. Today is a pleasant day, looks good ahead too.

Human reach to its impermeable suburbs is profound. We think we know it all and will never ever succumb to situations which shake our faith in our powers. Yet we give in. We give in to fears, trepidation, unseen dangers, predicted horrendous outcomes and an unfathomable afterlife.

In all this, wrong decisions are taken, wrong paths are chosen, wrong words are said and sometimes wrong tears are wiped! Why do I say that?

Well, that is what I am to write about.

Incorrect direction of sympathy towards people who did not need them in the first place. You needed it badly, but in giving it to someone else, you felt satiated, sacrificial and weirdly complete.

Then, if insensitivity and narcissism tore you within….

Whose fault was it anyway?

Does it even matter then, that you gave it your all?

Does it matter at all that you were emptied of your core?

Does it even matter that you dissolved like salt?

Does it even matter that your world was actually in their globes?

Does it then matter that you existed like a speck in their sky?

What does matter though is the emptiness that is purely yours….and not theirs to share.

What matters now is to stop being the empath you were.

What matters is not the fact that you were at fault.

What matters…

Is, that it was nobody’s fault.

What matters…

Is that you, your sky, your earth

Is still yours to claim.

It does not matter if they left or if you pushed them away…

But it definitely does matter that your halo –

Your SANCTUM

Is purely yours TODAY

Soar

If I were to tell you

That wings are for free

That skies won’t thunder

And the Sun will not blind your eye

And that a soft breeze is going to pamper

Your heart and your soul

Will you then

Take the flight

And venture against

Gravity,

And all that held you back.

Tell me if wings were free

Would you then take the flight

Would you rise

Would you soar…

All gratitude to Eugenia’s weekly word Prompt Soar.

Why Literature is so Personal?

Yesterday I heard a few complaints, about a student who does not respond in Online Classes. He simply ignores all modes of addressing by the teachers, never speaks out at all.

However, during my sessions, strangely, he is the one who constantly talks! I had no idea the child is so reticent otherwise. It was unbelievable.

What then, makes him speak in one class and hold back in the other.

Interest in the subject?

Maybe, but I know he is not literature-wise; I conduct their Language and Literature Classes. What is it then?

The point is, Literature is more personal. The poet or the writer is someone who you relate with. The most honest writings with far reaching effects are ones that are lucid and/ or autobiographical. The other day we talked about “Losses”. We were reading “The Ball Poem”. I had prepared a list of questions before even starting the session. Sort of a pre reading task. It preps you for what is coming ahead. And it mostly works.

These were my questions:

1. When was the first time you cried over the loss of something precious?

2. Were you offered any consolation? Did that help?

3. Now if you see a kid in trouble, crying over the loss of some important possession, do you reach out and console?

4. How does the experience of losing anything change a person?

And here is the poem that was to be studied…

The Ball Poem


BY JOHN BERRYMAN


What is the boy now, who has lost his ball.
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over—there it is in the water!
No use to say ‘O there are other balls’:
An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went. I would not intrude on him,
A dime, another ball, is worthless. Now
He senses first responsibility
In a world of possessions. People will take balls,
Balls will be lost always, little boy,
And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.
He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes,
The epistemology of loss, how to stand up
Knowing what every man must one day know
And most know many days, how to stand up
And gradually light returns to the street,
A whistle blows, the ball is out of sight.
Soon part of me will explore the deep and dark
Floor of the harbour . . I am everywhere,
I suffer and move, my mind and my heart move
With all that move me, under the water
Or whistling, I am not a little boy.

A simple yet profound insight on how coping with losses is necessary. Students talked about their experiences…like losing an ipad! A teddy bear! A bicycle!… These might seem superficial, but they meant the world at some stage.

I’m glad I don’t teach Science or Geography!!😃

Well, the questions above are for all of us to ponder.

How do losses change us?

Magnanimously…I would say.

P.S. – What answers would you give to these questions??

What do you hold within

Today I spoke to a student I have been mentoring over the past few days. He is, well, he is special if you understand. He, he is, dyslexic, has OCD, with slow grasping power and needs special attention. We have these students in our school. They have easier curriculum and subjects. So did he. But the problem is something else.

The session started with discovering that the child needed special attention and needed to be a part of the SEN Department, The Special Education Needs cell. He has been shifted, from my class to this other one that caters to his needs. The thing is, he calls me everyday. Without fail. For the one month he was with me, I have no idea what it was, he grew close.

And now when he calls and talks in broken syllables, all he manages to say is ….. “Ma’am, they have taken me away, I want you…you… you…you are are a very good teacher”

This is what he hung up with.

What followed was a series of calls to the school counselor who assured me it will be taken care of.

His mother called especially to express gratitude. What in the world can be more gratifying than having someone who treats your child as his/her own. I can sense that.

As teachers, this is what our days, evening walks…are made up of.

As humans, this is what our humanity surmises.

And as women, this is what we hold within.

The sanity and the groundedness.

Learn – Unlearn – Learn – Repeat

When was it that the world told you it would be easy. Learning is never easy. And if it is, it isn’t learning. We spend a mountain of lives forming convictions, developing coping mechanisms and deciphering outcomes.

Voices of education fill our minds. Here are certain do’s we have grown up with. Let us see how they hinder our true selves from evolving…

Planning For the Future

There is no such thing as planning for the worst or unpredictable circumstances. Insurance, savings, retirement plans….they tell you it is important. But what is more important is to understand that there is no future. It is just the present. In future, it will be your present. Plan if you must, but do not deny the present it’s due.

Follow Footprints to avoid faltering

What is unknown is dreaded. We naturally incline ourselves to the known. We know that it is important to settle, to marry, to raise children and once they settle, retire. What we don’t know is that our hearts may be screaming for something else. It is scary because half the time you wouldn’t know what is that unknown cliff you want to scale.

Self love is important

No, it isn’t. It is important to love people around you. Give them attention, explore their insides, follow their ideas, passions and ambitions. This will strengthen your core – it will offer you a clearer perspective of who you want to be. Love yourself, but not at the cost of hurting others. ‘I think I know enough of hate / To say that for destruction / Ice is also great’ said Robert Frost in the poem “Fire and Ice”. Indifference can kill. Self love stems from compassion and not from aloofness.

The earlier you learn, the better it is.

No, no, it isn’t. Learning is a lifelong process. Never say never. Learn, unlearn, learn again…Let the process enrich you. Experiment. Experiment everything,till you find your comfy chair. Isn’t that what we do when buying furniture. I’m 44 and I’m still taking courses and evolving. I’ve changed job profiles, encountered accidents and faced financial turmoil. What I didn’t give up was – learning.

Think of what your life has shaped as. You have evolved, despite all challenges and threats. Forget whatever practical advice is offered by the so called success books. You know what you are made of once the storm is over. Be your true self under any circumstances, soft or loud, demure or fancy, upbeat or a dreamer…The world is big enough to fit all.

You are born to learn, to grow and foster life in your own unique way.

No one can be you.

It is easy…

It is so easy to be kind

And so difficult to be cruel

So easy to smile

And so difficult to frown

It definitely is easier

To understand

And much too difficult to be oblivious

If such easiness flows within you

And nurtures your soul

Then come what may

Humanity is your only goal.

© Shalini

Weekly Prompt – Mingle

eden of mirth
hues and resplendent days
transcending shapes
till

defying normalcy
seeking to mingle
with boundaries unheard

this is the horizon
where all quests end
and answers are dug out

from deeper crevices
the why and how
of every dimension…

© Shalini

A short poem based on Eugenia’s weekly prompt – Mingle. I hope I have done the word appropriate justice.

Udaan(The flight)


“सुबह की किरणों को रोकें, जो सलाखें है कहाँ
जो खयालों पे पहरे डाले वो आँखें है कहाँ
पर खुलने की देरी है परिंदे उड़ के चूमेंगे
आसमां आसमां आसमां…”

Been listening to this number on loop and it does not cease to evoke the wonder called hope amidst all despair.

Let me first translate the above lines for you:

” Which mesh can ever stop the sun’s rays
Where are the eyes that can curtain thoughts

It’s just a matter of time when birds are free and they’ll kiss the sky…”

(Can’t say that I’ve done justice to the translation.) Hear it for yourself..

https://youtu.be/ugm2SOScEqA
(Song from the movie “Udaan”)

Hope is certainly a thing with feathers. In the midst of all the fear of the unknown, making frantic calls to friends and relatives, ensuring their physical and mental well being, HOPE…is still alive.

As Indians, we are a resilient race, true… But this time, the truth is grimmer than ever. Blaming lack of preparedness, infrastructure, foresight…none of it is bringing back the lost lives. We seek solace in each other’s company, praying…feeling the shower of gratitude drench our souls…,hoping, all will be fine.

When dawns fall short
And the flowers blossom timidly
To ensure if it is the Sun’s warmth
Or an ensnaring blaze that beckons…

When the birdlet wonders
If the twigs belong to her nest
Or if it is the hunter’s snare
That puts her faith to test…

When eyes see the rain
Falling free on the threshold
Yet shut their periphery, to wonder
If the wetness was begotten by tears manifold…

It is then that hands rise to the skies
Seeking benevolence from the mightiest…

It is then that hope refuses to die
Seeking permanent hope, a forever respite.

(P.S. – This post is not meant to generate any biased response, just an impromptu reaction to this stimulus called despair. Hoping all this dissolves into better times…somehow)

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